Being a memento type release to commemorate the tour that these two parties undertook in the early part of 2008, I am surprised to see and hear that the music - at least the Earth song - is exclusive to this release. This makes collector nerds like myself get fussy (and a little bit lighter in the wallet) as they try to track this record down for their collections. Although in many cases, we would track this down regardless of the exclusivity of the music that this record actually contains. That is why labels like Southern Lord are genius because they prey on addicts like myself. Forgive me; I digress. The real question regarding this split between Earth and Sir Richard Bishop would probably be how does the music sound?
Being ignorant of his music and had no expectations as to what I would hear from him, I put the Sir Richard Bishop side of the split on first. "Narasimha" (named after an avatar or aspect of the Hindu god Vishnu) interestingly marries "eastern" modalities or tones to more western modes of music without relying on clichéd eastern instrumentation like the sitar, although it is present but not a focus instrument. There are several droning sounds that seemingly provide the baseline for the song as acoustic guitars and other stringed instruments are plucked and strummed. The conversational feeling that Bishop creates is very palpable with the accordion-like sounds, guitars, and other stringed instruments that call and respond during the course of the song in varying volumes and such. He certainly fashions an intriguing musical piece that keeps one's attention, at least my attention, as you listen for different instrument sounds and competing melody lines amongst the hypnotic droning sounds. However, I must say that the abrupt ending is odd and rather interruptive to the listening experience.
The Earth side of the split, entitled "The Peacock Angels Lament" falls neatly in place with Earth's latest album The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Head. Just like the pieces found on that album, there is the more country-tinged sounds found on their more recent material combined with subtle hints of distortion. This song however, contains extremely subtle elements of the eastern sounds found on their partner's side of this split - real subtle to the point of it possibly being my ears playing tricks on me. This Earth song is pleasant to experience but does not offer as much enjoyment as their latest album.
In all honesty this split is not overly crucial to many people. Hardcore Earth fans from the states and Sir Richard Bishop fans will no doubt want to seek this out to add to their collection, but otherwise there is nothing so earth shattering that novices or dabbling fans of either musical entity needs to drop the large amounts of money that this record will surely procure on auction or trading sites. The music definitely has some excellent quality moments and is enjoyable for certain. Fans will not want to pass up the opportunity to get this if they have it because it certainly is already a commodity, which is annoying if you are simply an appreciator of the music. But the split is worthwhile if available at normal prices.
7.0 / 10
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